Two figures burst through the tavern door. One was tall and slender with an athletic build, the other short, with haunting red eyes.
“Water” the shorter one croaked.
Brecca, daughter to the owner of the Green Dragon, was speaking to a man wearing a brown leather trench coat. Her younger brother, Thompson, who was sitting next to her looked at the two men and turned white.
“Thats them, sheriff,” she pointed, “they’s the ones who went to find Jago’s daughter.”
The sheriff, Jarod Morgouse, stood up looking the figures over. “Where’re th’ rest of ya’?”
“Brecca here told me there was four of you fellers.”
“Dead,” the tall one croaked, “please, we’ve ran here all the way from the tomb-”
“It doesn’t fucking matter where we were,” the shorter figure shouted, “everyone here is going to die if they don’t run.” His red eyes meeting Jarod’s. He shifted his gaze to the taller figure. “There, Thingol, we’ve warned them. Now lets go before this place is wiped off the map.”
The shorter figure turned to leave when Jarod grabbed his shoulder, “Now hold your horses, son. I see that you’ve got red eyes.” He pointed towards a small boy sitting next to Brecca who grew even more pale. “Thompson here told me the strangest story about something that happened in the cellar last night.”
“You see,” Jarod continued reaching for a pair of manacles hanging from his belt, “Thompson told me he was sneaking wine last night when he heard his mother’s voice talking to someone as she came down into the cellar. He didn’t want his mother to catch him in the act, so he hid behind one of the large barrels down there.” His manacles now rested in his hands.
The shorter figure paused, raising a bandaged thumb towards his mouth, slowly.
“He tells me the person she led down there man killed her in cold blood, using some sort of blood magic.” Jarod, quick as lightning, locked his manacles on the short figure’s wrist, stopping his hand from reaching his mouth. And before the figure could do anything to fight Jarod, the Sheriff clasped the manacles on the man’s other wrist.
“Let me go!” he gasped.
“Not only that, Thompson’s description of that man matches the description of someone else we’ve been lookin’ for.” Jarod pulled a piece of parchment from his leather trench coat. On it was an image of a man’s face under the words: “Kaladin Stormolfsed is wanted, dead or alive, for the murders of 6 residents in Apocolite.” Under the image was: “He is cursed with red eyes, and is a suspected user of blood magic. The reward is 600 gold pieces dead or 800 alive.”
Jarod looked at the wanted poster, and back at the figure, “Thats you all right, Mr. Kaladin Stormolfsed.”
“None of that matters anymore,” Thingol interjected, “there are monsters coming this way to kill everyone and everything here.”
“Monsters?!” Jarod jested, “Oh no, we better run away before some goblins eat our souls!”
“This is no laughing matter.”
“Shut the hell up, you are under arrest too, for conspiring with the likes of him,” he said pointing to Kaladin. Jarod looked Thingol up and down stopping at his pointed ears, “We’re heading to Apocolite, and we ain’t got no time to spare, elf.”
Thompson and Brecca watched as Jarod loaded the two men into a caged wagon. Thompson looked up to Brecca and whipered, “But what happened to Dad and the other men that went with them?”
“What do you think?!” she burst out, “Kaladin killed them too. He’ll rot in hell for what he did to Mom and Dad.”
“But the elf said something about monsters.”
“Grow up Thompson, the only monsters are the ones that the Sheriff just carted away.”
Brecca turned and re-entered the Green Dragon, and Thompson followed her in.
From outside there was no one near enough to hear the screams of Brecca and Thompson as their bodies were shredded by an unseen beast. No one would find the scene in which their blood covered every inch of the floors and walls. The only thing people would find was the burnt down inn the next morning. The deaths of the children would eventually be ruled as an accident related to the fire.